The jury in the criminal trial of consultant breast surgeon Mr Ian Paterson retired on 20 April 2017 and today delivered a verdict of guilty in 17 charges of wounding with intent relating to nine women and one man. The jurors decided unanimously in most cases that the surgeon carried out ‘extensive, life-changing operations for no medically-justifiable reason’.
The trial of Mr Paterson, who worked at the Heart of England NHS Trust (HEFT), and Spire Healthcare, opened at Nottingham Crown Court at the end of February 2017. He was charged with one count of maliciously causing grievous bodily harm and 20 counts of wounding with intent against nine women and one man between 1997 and 2011 in relation to his surgical actions.
The surgeon had been under criminal investigation for a number of years following what were said to be ‘unnecessary’ surgical procedures he carried out at Spire Private Hospital in the West Midlands between 1997 and 2011.
Kashmir Uppal, a specialist medical negligence solicitor, has been instrumental in highlighting the issues relating to potentially unnecessary surgery performed by Mr Paterson on a private basis, since 2010, when she was first instructed to act on behalf of one of his former patients. She was also the lead solicitor in the Paterson claims before she joined Shoosmiths as a clinical negligence partner.
As a result of that first case many hundreds of women across the West Midlands region who had been treated by Mr Paterson came forward and made a collective call for action. When the size and scale of the issue became apparent, formal investigations at both HEFT and Spire were commenced leading to the Kennedy report and Verita review, and the criminal investigation started. The clinical negligence team at Shoosmiths continues to advise his patients on civil cases. Kashmir Uppal said:
‘Mr Paterson’s decisions to undertake unnecessary operations on our clients have had terrible consequences for them, mentally and physically. I am pleased that the Jury have found him guilty and hope that this verdict will start the process of closure for his victims and early settlement of their civil claims.’
‘However, we now need a full public enquiry to ensure tighter regulation of patient care in the private sector, and to prevent this happening in the future.'
Kashmir Uppal, medical negligence partner at Shoosmiths
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